Psychoanalytical Analysis Of Tsotsi

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The Effect of one’s Past on their Future The film Tsotsi, directed by Gavin Hood, portrays how an individual’s childhood and experiences effect the individual’s psychological development in his struggle for redemption. The narrative centers on Tsotsi, whose name when translated, literally means “thug”- a nickname he has accumulated through his atrocity as gang leader. The opening scene of the film establishes a strong sense of direction for the story - a glimpse of a person rolling dice is shown, drawing attention to the archetype of the dice representing chance and having no control over what will happen. This reveals the context that Tsotsi’s life is more distinctly influenced by outside forces, rather than his own free will. Following this scene, Tsotsi is introduced on screen wearing a leather jacket – the same one he is seen wearing for the entirety of the film with the exception of the ending, confirming that what viewers see during that time is only an exterior, securely hiding his true identity that was formed by his childhood and experiences. Gaining awareness about the major outside forces that influence the development of Tsotsi’s character in the past and the present are essential in understanding the reason behind his seemingly cold-hearted exterior. Tsotsi’s character is greatly developed by his interactions with his friends and family. His childhood without his parents has a significant effect on him, allowing him to be taught neither proper morals, nor how to behave with others. After their brutal murder of a man, Boston preaches Tsotsi, including him saying, “Jesus, Tsotsi. A dog? What about a dog” (Hood, 2005). The didactic tirade triggers a stream of muffled emotions in Tsotsi, who beats up Boston. After this incident, Tsotsi runs from his friends, and more importantly, himself. The frenzied expression revealed in the close up shot of his face not only expresses his id that caused the incident, but also clearly expresses his

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